On Thursday (7th) we left Yosemite and headed for our next stop, the Mountain Inn, Minaret Road in Mammoth Lakes. This journey involved circumnavigating the National Reserve to the north via the R49, and eventually the 108 Highway, which initially proved an intriguing drive along narrow country roads.
The advantage was coming across smaller settlements a little off the beaten track, such as the delightful Jamestown. Location for the filming of Clint Eastwood’s Unforgiven and Little House on the Prairie. I can certainly recommend The Service Station, a superb bar in the heart of town. The drive also offered the chance to hang out at truck stops and appreciate the diversity of landscape, from flat plain loneliness to eye-catching mountain ranges.
Mammoth is principally a ski resort and we did wonder what we might do for a couple of days out of season. However, we were delighted by the Hotel, the bars in the town, plus we were lucky enough to arrive just as the Giddy Up country music festival was getting underway in the local square. Thanks to everyone we met at the event and the bands for the uplifting songs.
Our daytime was taken up with rides up the local mountains, which still had rock solid snow at the top even in the extreme summer heat. An elevation of 11,000 feet may offer amazing views, but it also proved challenging courtesy of the thinner air!
Only oversight was not seeing a bear! We were told there was one scouting around the bins at 3am, but I guess we will have to save that experience for another visit.